I've been busy painting and quilting this winter in preparation for the Lake Scugog Studio Tour. I've done more paintings in my series of urban landscapes of St. John's and have started to work on a series from photos I took in Sweden. I've also done more of the In The Birches series. My quilting is all over the place, from modern to abstract art to traditional. I hope to see you on the tour. You can start at my studio, 34 Woodbridge Circle, Port Perry, Ontario, and I'll give you a map to take you to 12 other studios with a total of 32 artists. When you Google or set your GPS use the town name "Scugog" to find me easily.
There's one really big quilt show in Canada put on by the Canadian Quilt Association and called "Quilt Canada". This is a juried show of about 85 or so quilts. This year the show is in St. Catharines, Ontario in June 2014. I had my quilt Floating in this show 2 years ago. This year I entered two quilts, Friends and Retired Not Retiring. Friends is a large wallhanging designed by Michele Hill of Australia. It is raw-edge machine applique (if anyone knows how to get WordPress to add an accent, please send me directions!) The other quilt, Retired Not Retiring, I designed for my brother and sister-in-law to give as a gift in honour of their retirements and a big move to a custom-designed modern home in Goderich, Ontario. I'm SOOO excited! And to top it all off, they both got into the juried show called "Quilt Week" that takes place in Paducah, Kentucky. Richard and I went to this show last year and they had about 400 quilts in the show. I'll be travelling to both shows this spring - who can resist seeing your quilt hanging at such wonderful shows!
I use quite a few different techniques when I paint in encaustics, and have found a unique way to create urban landscapes. I start with beautifully hand made birch panels. And photographs I've taken in my travels are my references for drawings. I draw in pencil directly on the birch panels. With these urban landscapes sharp clean lines and accurate perspectives are important and I would lose them if I didn't have a drawing down first. I then paint on the beeswax and damar resin mixture in thin layers with no added pigment. Typically it's 6 or 8 layers. I like to work on three pieces at a time so that I'm not waiting around for layers to solidify, ready for the next layer to be added. I use painter's tape to mask off areas of my underdrawing and then layer on the colour! Usually 12 layers. The wax needs to be not quite set for me to pull up the painter's tape to reveal the sharp clean edge. Once this is allowed to harden another colour will go beside it. By laying on many layers I get a thickness that can later be carved away to reveal nice sharp lines.
I was asked by Durham Community Foundation to participate in a Chair Affair as part of the Odyssey Ball. Artists were invited to pick up a piece of broken furniture and transform it into a piece of art. They will be part of a live auction at the ball on Feb 2 2012. I went out to Mackie Moving where they had gathered broken or damaged furniture and invited eleven artists and designers to come pick out something to transform. I picked out a worn out bedroom chair. When I got it home I discovered that it was in terrible shape and required more than the quilted slipcover I had imagined. It needed new springs, foam and padding. I imagined it as an accent piece in a bedroom or foyer. I have many Mourning Doves in my garden and they have such lovely silhouettes. Mine sit in an arbour, but their shape is lovely on a wire. The doves are appliquéd onto the cream fabric and batting is added behind them using a trapunto technique to make them puff out. You may be able to see the trapunto effect on the seat in the turquoise fabric. Then I layered more batting and another layer of fabric and quilted each of the eight pieces. Andrew of Uxbridge Custom Upholstery took my pieces and did a fabulous job of rebuilding it. When it was done and I showed it to my friend Sue Carmichael at Quilters Cupboard in Uxbridge, she said it was calling out for a pillow! What a lovely added touch. I'll write a post about the new owner after the auction!